iParenting Media recently awarded the New Maru Doll 2008's Greatest Product. iParenting.com, part of Disney, is a media site with a respected program that recognizes the top products in children's industries.
As an immigrant myself, I appreciate the concept for the doll, which is based on a girl's life who moves to the US. While Maru is eight, I was a seven year-old girl that moved from a village in Northern India to Massachusetts.
In the storybook, "Maru and Friends" that comes with the doll, Maru is supported by her friends Tanya and Jamie, while celebrating their diversity. The dolls' ethnic origin is represented in their appearance. I think I would have really appreciated that as a child in India who received blond-haired, blue-eyed dolls from my father studying in the US that looked nothing like me. Since I will be having a daughter by February, I can imagine gifting her one of these dolls to relate to.
The dolls are the products of Maritza Gutierrez, who finally realized her passion for dolls after spending 25 years in marketing. They were designed by Dianna Effner, an Award-winning American doll artist.
Sources: Website Gear, Maru and Friends